Ceramics Instructional Operations Coordinator

Updated: about 1 month ago


Faculty of Arts and Sciences


Job Summary

This Instructional Operations Coordinator reports to the Director, OFA Ceramics Program and Visual Arts and is vital to the operation and safety of the Ceramics Program, which is based at the OFA. The 15,500 SF studio serves more than 300 students, faculty, staff, and members of the public over 3 semesters annually. The maintenance, upkeep, equipment, and materials inventory, as well as management of various part-time staff rely on the effectiveness of this position. Technical understanding and people management skills will precipitate safe and effective studio practices for all participants.

Position Description

Ceramics Facilities 25%

  • Maintains, operates, and instructs proper use of a wide variety of specialized ceramic related equipment including gas and electric kilns, pottery wheels, clay mixing equipment, slab roller, extruders, shelf grinding equipment, central vacuum system, wet saw, spray booth, compressor, and hot box and miscellaneous hand and power tools.
  • Supervises the mixing and testing of over 100 glazes and the inventory of all ceramic materials.
  • Supervises the use of one LUTUM 3D Ceramic Printer and two 3D Printers and software.
  • Maintains online sign-up sites for electric kilns, gas kilns, and spray booths and tracks those certified to fire kilns, use of plaster/mold room, and materials mixing room.
  • Assists and advises in the oversight of three pottery studios located in the Harvard Houses. Responsible for repairing equipment when needed and overseeing glaze mixing and material ordering.
  • Respond to urgent/emergency studio concerns in an on-call capacity in conjunction with the Director. 

Kiln Management 5%

  • Responsible for ensuring the safety of students and community members while instructing and monitoring the use of gas-powered reduction kilns. Also monitors the scheduling of loading, firing and unloading of these kilns. Responsible for total of 13 kilns (2 gas, 1 soda, 10 electric).

Health and Safety, University Compliances 10%

  • Internal staff member responsible for health and safety, working with EH&S, to ensure a safe and compliant working environment.
  • Oversight includes the safety self-inspection of facilities, working with Harvard Recycling to dispose of used equipment and materials, and scheduling with vendors to remove non-hazardous glaze waste.
  • Orders and maintains Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) in addition to other compliant safety labeling such as Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) safety sheets for all potentially dangerous studio equipment.
  • Oversees sink traps and the mitigation of possible plumbing contamination.
  • Respond to urgent/emergency studio concerns in an on-call capacity in conjunction with the Director.

Health and Safety, Internal Compliances 5%

  • Building and maintaining website with technical ceramic information, instructional videos, safety articles, and relevant links. This site acts as an addendum to the Studio Safety Procedures and is a general reference for proper facility practices.

Financial & Procurement 10%

  • Develops and implements budget for studio maintenance and usage with Director. Responsible for tracking materials use, ordering, receiving and storing clay materials, kiln repair supplies; and maintains contact with vendors. Oversees purchasing of additional equipment.

Staff Supervision 15%

  • Provides on¬site supervision, instruction, and direction to 9 direct reports (monthly instructional payroll) in clay-mixing tasks, glaze-mixing and materials inventory, plaster room and kiln room upkeep, and duties pertaining to Teaching Assistants.
  • Additionally, responsible for supervising 12 studio interns who assist with maintenance, upkeep, and special projects.

Academic Collaborations 15%

  • Supports the Director with academic collaborations—innovative Ceramics labs that are integrated into FAS and other Tub coursework, such as with Anthropology 1010, History of Art and Architecture 101 and SCI 6317 through the Graduate School of Design.

Gallery 224 5%

  • Advises and executes technical aspects of Gallery 224 installations (6-8 annually) and the dismantling of exhibitions, including operation of the vinyl cutter and installing gallery lettering.

Show & Sales 5%

  • Oversees staff and participants with detailed set-up of two annual large-scale Show and Sales, and strike (exhibition area returned to teaching space).

Tenant duties/ HRE 5%

  • Works with Harvard Real Estate to support the routine upkeep of the building, facilities, and grounds. This includes roof, parking lot, dumpster area, HVAC, plumbing, gas supply, water heater, cleaning services, restrooms, entry doors, windows, etc

Basic Qualifications

  • BA/BFA in ceramics (or related field) or equivalent work experience.
  • Three years demonstrated experience as a ceramics technician or instructor.
  • Three years of experience with glaze mixing, kiln, wheel and studio equipment maintenance.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • MFA in ceramics or related field and five years overall experience in technical or studio management.
  • Expert knowledge of ceramic terminology, safety policies, procedures, functions and practices of a ceramic studio.
  • Managing staff and/or student workers in a similar setting. 
  • Communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing; respond to a wide range of highly technical questions, establish and maintain effective working relationships with other employees, students, studio participants and the general public.
  • Ability to maintain the following equipment:  electric potter’s wheels (30), ceramic extruders (2), slab roller (1), slip mixer (1), wet saw (1), 3D ceramic printer (1) and ventilation arms (3).
  • Ability to fire and maintain electric (10), gas reduction (2) and soda vapor kilns (1) in a safe and effective manner and to instruct others.
  • Clear knowledge of glaze chemistry, recipe calculation and oversight of all ceramic materials by students and staff in a safe manner.
  • Ability to use and instruct students in the safe use of handling basic power tools.
  • Ability to work with a diverse range of students including Harvard faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students as well as members of the general Boston community.
  • Ability to mentor undergraduates with varied levels of ceramics knowledge as well as professional artists in the use of our facility for academic related or public events.
  • Experience with working with Environmental Health and Safety departments or the equivalent to ensure best practices. Exposure to potentially hazardous materials, for which a mask and gloves must be worn.
  • Familiarity with best practices and curriculums for ceramics programs at other art schools and universities.
  • Class D driver’s license and the ability to drive.
  • Ability to lift and carry 50 pounds.
  • Proficient with MS Outlook, Microsoft Word and Excel. Knowledge of Filemaker Pro, Glaze Softwares (such as HyperGlaze) and 3D software (such as Rhino, Slic3r).
  • Ability to work flexible hours and weekends.

Additional Information

The Office for the Arts at Harvard (OFA) supports student engagement in the arts and integrates the arts into University life. Through its programs and services, the OFA teaches and mentors, fosters student artmaking across all disciplines and abilities, connects students to accomplished artists, and creates inclusive communities that celebrate the rich diversity of Harvard College. By supporting the development of students as artists and cultural stewards, the OFA works to enrich society and shape communities in which the arts are a vital part of life.  The OFA is dedicated to building a diverse community of individuals who are committed to contributing to an inclusive environment. Applicants from underrepresented populations are strongly encouraged to apply.

Work Format Details

This position is based primarily on-campus, in Massachusetts. This may include in-person during emergency situations (if applicable). Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. Certain visa types may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.


We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website (https://hr.harvard.edu/totalrewards ) to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

402071 Building Services Coordinator


Office for the Arts at Harvard


55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Identity


  • Standard hours are M-F, 9-5 
  • Routine evening/weekend hours for events and kiln firings required

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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